com-steve-flemingQF2 Brisbane now has the 10m former Brisbane Water Police vessel 'G J Olive', known as the fastest rescue vessel on Moreton Bay.

Flotilla Commander Steve Fleming discovered the 'Olive' was for sale, after his maritime sources revealed that tenders had been let for a replacement Water Police vessel. Commander Fleming quickly made initial approaches to government sources about buying the old 'Olive' and all of its spare parts as a Coast Guard asset.

Because Coast Guard is not government-funded, these approaches were far from a straight swap between official departments. They involved Coast Guard Brisbane having to raise funds to purchase the 'Olive' – and the eventual asking price was subject to some sharp bargaining of the part of the Flotilla Commander. After protracted negotiations, his bargaining was successful, and the Queensland government agreed on a sale price that was within Coast Guard Brisbane's financial means.

Commander Fleming said the appeal of the 'Olive' was apparent from the beginning. While his Flotilla already has one 10m vessel for large marine assists, urgent medivacs around Moreton Bay, and long-range work; it was also regularly called upon to assist with rapid response tasks where a large and powerful vessel has to bring help to a location swiftly. The former Water Police vessel 'G J Olive' fulfilled that demand. After officially taking possession of the former 'G J Olive', Commander Fleming and his Deputy Flotilla Commander Allen Penman spent the next five months personally refurbishing and refitting the 10m vessel, and painting it in Coast Guard livery.

The vessel then passed Survey and was officially taken on inventory by the Flotilla. In its new life as Coast Guard Brisbane's primary rapid response vessel, the former 'G J Olive' will now be known simply as CG21. Stationed at Coast Guard Brisbane's base near the Manly Boat Harbour entrance, CG21 is now in the perfect position to respond immediately to emergency situations both on Moreton Bay and far out to sea. Commander Fleming said the vessel has already been called upon to assist with one SAR, and one engine fire emergency, and had proved ideal for both tasks.

All skippers at Coast Guard Brisbane have completed familiarisation training in CG21, the vessel is now on duty in time for Queensland's storm season.